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RealityCapture 1.0.3: AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen vs Intel Core 9th Gen

Written on July 24, 2019 by William George
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Introduction

AMD's new Ryzen 3rd generation processors feature both an increase in core count and per-core performance, allowing them to rival and sometimes beat Intel's mainstream Core processors in professional applications. In this article we are going to take a look at how these new CPUs handle RealityCapture, which benefits from both core count and clock speed at various points throughout its workflow.

RealityCapture Logo from CapturingReality

RealityCapture, like other photogrammetry applications, is built to take a batch of photographs and turn them into digital, 3D models. Many steps are involved in that process, utilizing both the CPU and GPU at different points. Our focus here is on CPU performance, so most of the other hardware in the test systems will be fixed, but we will also look at two different RAM speeds for the new Ryzen chips.

Test Hardware

Here is a list of the hardware we tested RealityCapture on. The video card and RAM capacity were kept the same across all platforms, to avoid either of those throwing off the comparison. Both test platforms were running fully updated and patched versions of Windows 10.

AMD Test Platform
CPU AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
AMD Ryzen 7 3800X
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
AMD Ryzen 5 3600
CPU Cooler AMD Wraith PRISM
Motherboard Gigabyte X570 AORUS ULTRA
RAM 4x DDR4-2666 16GB (64GB total)
4x DDR4-3200 16GB (64GB total)
Video Card NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB
Hard Drive Samsung 960 Pro 1TB
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (version 1903)
RealityCapture 1.0.3.6310
Intel Test Platform
CPU Intel Core i9 9900K
Intel Core i7 9700K
Intel Core i5 9600K
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S
Motherboard Gigabyte Z390 Designare
RAM 4x DDR4-2666 16GB (64GB total)
Video Card NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB
Hard Drive Samsung 960 Pro 1TB
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (version 1903)
RealityCapture 1.0.3.6310

All of the processors were tested with four 16GB DDR4 modules running at 2666MHz - the official max memory speed for this configuration (four dual-rank memory modules) on both the AMD and Intel platforms. However, Ryzen 3rd Gen also officially supports higher speed memory when using only two sticks (or four single-rank modules) so we tested those CPUs with 3200MHz RAM as well.

AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen Processor Memory Support Chart (courtesy of Tom's Hardware)

AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen Processor Memory Support Chart (courtesy of Tom's Hardware)

We still used a full four sticks when running at 3200MHz, to maintain the same amount of memory (since RealityCapture is impacted by how much RAM is in the system), so technically this test was outside of the official AMD memory support spec. It is still worthwhile, though, as it lets us see how much difference RAM speed can make on this platform when the amount of memory is kept the same.

Benchmark Details

For testing photogrammetry applications, we have four image sets that we own the rights to - covering both smaller and larger size model and map projects. The smaller image sets are included in our public RealityCapture benchmark, which you can download and run if you want to compare your system's performance to what we measured in our testing.

  • Rock Model - 45 photos at 20 megapixels each
  • School Map - 51 photos at 18 megapixels each
  • School Model - 278 photos at 18 megapixels each
  • Park Map - 758 photos at 18 megapixels each

Each image set was processed 3 times on each CPU, and the fastest overall result was used for the comparisons below.

Results Overview

Here is a gallery of charts for each of the four image sets, showing the total time (in seconds) they took to process on each CPU. The processors are listed in order of performance, to make it easy to see how they stack up. Intel's Core 9th Gen chips are shown in blue, with AMD's Ryzen 3rd Gen in red for 3200MHz and orange for 2666MHz results.

Detailed Results

For those who want to dig further into the differences in how each CPU performs, here is a table showing the times for each step within RealityCapture on each of the image sets. The fastest total time for each image set is highlighted in bold:

RealityCapture 1.0.3 AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen vs Intel Core 9th Gen Processor Performance Table

Analysis

Despite the improvements AMD has made in this generation of processors, Intel's Core i9 9900K still came in with the best performance in three of the four tests. The Ryzen 9 3900X did beat it by a hair (about half a percent) in the Park Map test, which is the first time we've seen any processor best the 9900K in RealityCapture, but that is such a small lead that it could easily be within the margin of error. It also required using 3200MHz RAM, which again is not supported by AMD with this many memory modules. If you cut back to two sticks, for 32GB total, the performance loss of having less memory when dealing with large projects would put Intel back on top again.

It is somewhat interesting to dig into the detailed result table as well, because it is there that we can see how Intel and AMD chips perform differently in RealityCapture despite having such close performance results. The Ryzen chips do very well during the Align Images phase, which also appears to benefit greatly from higher speed memory, while they fall behind Intel during the Texture step.

Conclusion

With very strong performance results across all of our RealityCapture tests, it is easy to make a single processor recommendation: Intel's Core i9 9900K is the top-performing CPU for this application. It had the fastest processing times for three of our four datasets, and only lost in the last one to a technically unsupported RAM configuration on AMD's Ryzen 9 3900X (and only by 0.5%).

Some of AMD's Ryzen 7 chips did outpace Intel's other models at similar price points, though, making them viable options if the $100 to $200 savings (maybe around 5% in the grand scheme of a whole system) is enough to make or break your budget.

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Tags: RealityCapture, CPU, Performance, photogrammetry, Intel vs AMD, Intel 9th Gen, Intel, AMD, AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen
Misha Engel

Total inline with expectations.
Thanks for the review.

Posted on 2019-07-24 18:35:23

It's so close I'd say the upcoming 3950X with 4 more cores might beat the i9. Anyway, thanks for the tests, waiting for your in depth Lightroom analysis, might be a first time in a decade or so I'd switch to AMD with the 3950X ;)

Posted on 2019-07-24 23:37:23
Nino Skupnjak

As expected.

I would say that time difference is marginal. Price for i9 9900k and 3900x is roughly the same (cpu+mbo). My opinion: there is no better or worse solution, you choose your system based on your other needs (beside RC). It would be interested to see difference with 5000+ inputs :)

Posted on 2019-07-25 05:51:33

If you are using the higher speed memory, then yes: they are certainly neck-and-neck (so to speak). As the number of images goes up, though, I would personally prefer to have more RAM... and so far as I know, 32GB modules (which both the i9 9900K and 3900X should support) are only available at 2666MHz currently. At that memory speed there is a bigger gap between the processors :/

Posted on 2019-07-26 19:11:25
Brick

Everyone knows that while AMD only "officially" supports 4x32GiB at 2666MHz, it's obviously dependent on the motherboard and DIMM's being used. Intel only "officially" supports 2666 MHz across the board, yet we ignore that official limitation without hesitation.

Posted on 2019-09-29 06:07:54

Not sure what "we" you are referring to, but here at Puget we have stuck pretty strictly to both Intel and AMD specs for RAM speeds. Especially on Intel, the tiny (if any) performance gain isn't worth risking stability or warranty support.

Posted on 2019-09-29 06:32:27
michaelv

Thank you for Your test.
I want a computer for Cinema 4D and Unreal Engine and they rely heavily on the CPU. In the Cinebench test the AMD Ryzen 9 is far better than Intels i9.
Do you think the Cinebench test is any good

Best regard Michael V

Posted on 2019-08-08 16:24:20

Cinebench is an accurate test for CPU based rendering, which is one of the few applications that is almost perfectly threaded. That is why AMD's newer chips often do better than Intel by a solid margin: they offer more cores (up to 12 currently on Ryzen and 32 on Threadripper). However, a lot of the actual viewport stuff in Cinema 4D is *not* well threaded... and I am not certain yet about Unreal Engine, but I expect that a lot of the animation and simulation stuff is likely not well threaded there either. Both of those are things we are planning to build (or find) benchmarks for in the coming months, so if you aren't in a hurry you could wait and see what we find out. If you want or need something sooner, I think the Intel Core i9 9900K and AMD Ryzen 9 3900X would both be fine options. The Intel chip still has a slight edge in less threaded workloads, while AMD has a strong lead on the heavily threaded side... but both are good choices, and similar in price. I will note that AMD's new chips (and their accompanying motherboards) are, well, newer - so they may have more bug to get worked out, and some applications won't be as optimized for them as they are for the established Intel processors, but I don't think either would be a bad choice :)

Posted on 2019-08-08 16:29:42
michaelv

Thank you for your fast and comprehensive answer :-)
In action I see all cores works in full throttle. It seems the software benefit of more core and all of the RAM. GPU is not at work before rendering. A powerful Laptop and ePGU didn’t work. This software needs the CPU core count and MHz.
I recon you are right about the small hiccups the new AMD CPU still have to be sorted.

Best
Michael V

Posted on 2019-08-08 16:53:30

If you are confident that your normal workflow makes use of all (or at least most) CPU cores, then the 3900X is a great choice!

Posted on 2019-08-08 18:26:17
michaelv

Thank you. You should make a European copy of Puget. All retailers are now online and most of them is only capable of spelling “Gaming Computer” ;-)

Posted on 2019-08-09 17:06:05